Saturday, August 15, 2015

A brief situation summary

Dear Fellow Veterans,

There has been talk of the Government and more particularly the PMO attempting to co-opt senior veterans into a Track 2 effort at finding a negotiated settlement to the dues demanded by agitating veterans as OROP and what the Government wants to dole out.

Some people in the Govt believe that a negotiated solution will be in order, because the situation is similar to negotiated settlements with trade unions. They feel that veterans are basically agitating for more money – not Izzat or anything else. Not even National Interest.

There is also an argument doing the rounds that even if the political government may overrule legitimate objections by the de facto government (IAS) at this juncture, the later is here to stay. They can hit back at the defence establishment again at the time of their choosing. (In the opinion of the IAS)   This implies that the defence establishment will be well advised to accept what the de facto rulers of India are willing to dole out, simply because this course is in the long term interest of defence services. (An open threat by the de facto government.)

In their view the veterans or for that matter the serving defence fraternity is in no position to fight it out particularly after the OROP in some form is given to them. Talking specifically of veterans, it seems to be their view that no one will come to Jantar Mantar to fight for IZZAT and on such issues as, Defence Service Commission and Equivalence in Protocol etc.

It is a serious question, which the defence fraternity needs to consider. Our track record at joint action, whether between veteran organizations or between the three services leaves much to be desired. Satbir has demonstrated grit, determination and energy. We do not seem to have many more of that ilk. This could well be true.

And one additional point from my side! We are trained to think straight and fair while the adversary has developed expertise in cunning and deceit. Can we match that? Even our generals lack those skills because of limited exposure even against external enemies. See what happened to Admiral Sushil and General VK Singh.

It is not my intention to discourage. I believe that OROP is only the first battle in a long campaign and this battle must be won in Phase-1.  But what we need is a realistic study of strengths of opposing forces and you have little intelligence about either.

If we wish to fight the WAR for justice to Armed Forces veterans, their families and Veer Naris, to its logical conclusion with a reasonable chance of success, there is need to totally change our strategy to deal with Government. (Basically it means IAS, who have well planned strategy to brainwash the politicians to degrade and humiliate the Armed Forces personnel, serving and retired and their families).

The present leadership of ESM has done commendable job so far, but they now need to change their strategy, for which probably there is need to co-opt fresh thinkers of our strategy. We have to change our mindset. 

Regards and best wishes.
Brig R S Chhikara


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